Show ContentsBolan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In its ancient Gaelic form, the Irish name Bolan was written O Beollain, formed from a Norse personal name.

Early Origins of the Bolan family

The surname Bolan was first found in counties Clare and Sligo (Irish: Sligeach), in the province of Connacht in Northwestern Ireland, where they held a family seat.

Early History of the Bolan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bolan research. Another 144 words (10 lines of text) covering the year 1014 is included under the topic Early Bolan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bolan Spelling Variations

During the Middle Ages, surnames were spelt by scribes solely based on how it sounded, one's name could have been recorded many different ways during the life of its bearer. Numerous spelling variations were revealed in the search for the origin of the name Bolan family name. Variations found include Boland, Bolan, Boland, O'Boland, O'Bolan, Bolend, Bolen, Bolland, Bollan, Bollend, Bollen, Bowland, Bowlan, Bowlin, Boulland, Bollander, Bolander, Bollinder, Bolinder, Bollendar, Bolendar, Bollandar, Bowlander, Boulander, Bouland and many more.

Early Notables of the Bolan family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Bolan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bolan Ranking

In the United States, the name Bolan is the 15,575th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]

United States Bolan migration to the United States +

Under the rule of England, land ownership in Ireland changed dramatically, and many native Irish families found themselves renting out land to farm from absentee owners. This was one of the prime reasons that immigration to North America began in the late 18th century: Irish farmers dreamed of owning their own parcel of land to work for themselves. At this point, the immigrants were at least of modest means for the passage across the Atlantic was often quite dear. In the 1840s the Great Potato Famine created an exodus of people of quite different means. These people were most often destitute: they either sold anything they had to gain a passage or they were sponsored by philanthropic societies. Many of these immigrants were sick from disease and starvation: as a result many did not survive the long transatlantic journey. Although those settlers that did survive were often despised and discriminated against by people already established in these nations, they were critical to rapid development of the powerful industrial nations of the United States and the country that would later become known as Canada. An examination of immigration and passenger lists shows many persons bearing the name of Bolan or one of its variants:

Bolan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Hugh Bolan, aged 24, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1774 [2]
Bolan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Richard Bolan, who arrived in Georgia in 1806 [2]
  • Michael Bolan, who landed in Maryland in 1847 [2]
  • Daniel, John, Mathew, Patrick and Thomas Bolan, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1870

Canada Bolan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Bolan Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

Contemporary Notables of the name Bolan (post 1700) +

  • Michael George "Mike" Bolan (1933-2016), Canadian politician, MPP for Nipissing, Ontario
  • Rachel Bolan (b. 1966), born James Richard Southworth, English bass guitarist and main songwriter of the metal band, Skid Row
  • Nelson Amos Bolan (b. 1990), Nevisian cricketer
  • Marc Bolan (1947-1977), English singer-songwriter, guitarist and frontman of rock group T. Rex

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0 on Facebook